tv AB Cs World News With Charles Gibson ABC August 6, 2009 6:30pm-7:00pm EDT
tonight, terror target. officials believe they have scored a major victory. madam justice. sonya sote omeyer is confirmed and will be the first hispanic scre supreme justice. more clues from the fitness center gunman. cyberattack. millions of tweeters are confounded when the popular site gets snack smieked by hatters. and a film director who captured the '80s and '90s has died.
good evening. you probably do not know his name. he has almost never been seen in public, much less photographed, but u.s. forces have been on an intense hunt for baitullah mehsud, the leader of the talupon. unarmed drones, the weapon of choice, have been closing in on him for weeks and, today, u.s. and pakistani officials are saying they think mehsud has finally been killed by one of those strikes. martha raddatz is in washington tonight. good evening. senior officials tell abc news president obama was detailed today on why the u.s. believes there are strong indication said butullea mehsud is dead. his back is to the camera in this rare video of him. he's enemy number one in
pakistan, believed to be behind some of the most spectacular attacks in that country, including the assassination of benazir bhutto. u.s. officials consider him a grave threat as well. the nexus of all terror groups in pakistan. the u.s. and pakistan have been trying to track mehsud for months. nine of the last ten cia drone strikes have been aimed add his network, but u.s. and pakistani officials believe a strike in south waziristan yesterday likely killed him. omps saying there's a 95% chance he's among the dead. u.s. officials had visual and other indicators it was mehsud. pakistanis are trying to collect physical evidence to be certain. if it is confirmed, the obama administration has hit one of the most significant terrorist targets in years. for pakistan, the strike would
have a profound effect, says nick schifrin. >> undoubtedly, there would be new commanders, but his death would give pakistan a level of confidence that the talupon is not all powerful. the u.s. admits it needs pakistani support to win this war. nuclear in pakistan is an extremely powerful ally. if mehsud is dead, it will make the pakistanis safer and the u.s. as well. >> martha raddatz along with nick shiffer. thanks. sglo there was another reminder of how dangerous in the area in afghanistan. four u.s. marines have been killed by a roadside bomb. back in this country, judge sonia sotomayor becomes justice
sotomayor. she will be the first hispanic justice on the court. 59 democrats and 9 republicans voting in favor. >> reporter: when the vote was announced -- >> the nomination of sote aomeyer is confirmed. >> reporter: the fans and president celebrated an historic first. >> this is a wonderful day for judge sotomayor and her family, but it's also a wonderful day for america. >> reporter: her confirmation was almost certain after she undured three days of drilling. >> many senators have asked me about my philosophy. simple, fidelity to the law. >> reporter: still, 31 of the 40 did, including party leaders and the leader, john m kited her sp
case against white new haven firefighters in a reverse discrimination case. and then to obama. >> i wish obama had chosen a hispanic nominee whom all senators could support. >> reporter: they said her opponents would pay a steep price. >> we have power at the voting box, and we will remember her. >> reporter: sotomayor left her old court room this afternoon and will hit the ground running. the court returns next month. it will take up cases on religious expression, congressional power, and whether juveniles can get life in prison for their crimes. she'll be sworn in on saturday when she becomes the nation's
111's supreme court justice. now to that shooting rampage tuesday night at a pennsylvania health club. the question continues to be why. why did george sudeodini walk i the club, turn off the lights, and start shooting. >> it is easy for me to hide from my emotions for one more day. >> reporter: george sodini all alone before a camera. >> one more day turns into one more year. >> reporter: you hear the pain in his sigh, and on his youtube video posted one year ago, you hear more of his obsession with younger women. >> when i'm 10 to 20 years older than she is, she has to feel good about this thing. >> reporter: and in a second video, during a house tour. this book, "how to date young women for men over 35."
one young woman he mentions coveting in his blog neighbor patrica cohen's daughter. >> you know, he is probably looking out his window and saw her getting into her car. i mean, that's my daughter he is talking about! >> reporter: in a separate older website, crazygeorge.com, you see pictures of sodini in happier times. and an interview with himself asking, "have you ever been in love." >> reporter: the answer? >> hell yeah, lots of times, i am still single so obviously nothing ever worked out. >> i think he was conflicted, i think he wanted a relationship with women, but he was also rejected by women. >> reporter: sodini was a computer expert, he had several computers here at home. and his digital trail is everywhere. hidden in the code of his blog, abc news found his message hinting at second thoughts on his murder plot. >> at the gym i saw a woman i like. occasionally she makes good eye contact and smiles. to get a friend like her, and for night time action, i would
cancel this plan. he didn't cancel his plan, his pain never gone, and this vigil tonight is a reminder of the pain he left behind. john berman, abc news, bridgeville, pennsylvania. as we reported, sodini had written a blog for months that alluded to his killing rampage, but did anyone read it, and if anyone had, would they or could they have done anything about it? pierre thomas takes a closer look at the problem of monitoring literally millions of blogs. >> reporter: sometimes killers like this man who murdered ten people in a finland school, post their deadly intentions on the web. >> you will die next. >> reporter: before they commit mass murder. so if george sodini wrote a blog on a website detailing his plans to kill, why couldn't authorities stop him? while police do troll the web looking for hate groups,
terrorists, and gangs, they don't typically look at internet postings of tennis of millions of internet americans. >> authorities are diskting the website to see if anyone read what he wrote. but he was a loner so it's doubtful anyone saw any of his rants. apparently, he intended his writeri wri writings to be seen only after he died. >> it's like screaming a threat that nobody hears. >> reporter: the best chance of finding out about a threat on the web is by posting it on facebook or twitter. even then, it might not be an easy call for authorities. >> there's a contin um between being annoying and being a menace. >> reporter: if the threat is specific and imminent, police have tedious steps to take. >> you would be looking to see whether or not they have any
history, do they have access to weap weapons? >> reporter: and the threshold for the judge to act is hard. >> mere words alone are usually not sufficient. he's got the capacity to do it. he's got not only just the plans but the means in which to carry it out. >> reporter: sometimes even tipping off police doesn't work. in finland, police were told about this suspect's youtube video and went to talk to him. the next day, he went on his rampa rampage. pierre thomas, abc news, washington. former president bill clinton said today he was honored to go to north korea to secure the release of laura ling and euna lee. u.s. officials have begun debroefing him about his meetings with kim jong-il. when the subject of the nuclear program came out, the former president repeated that the program will not make north korea safer. and west of london today, thousands paid tribute to
britain's last veteran of world war i. the coffin of 111-year-old harry patch was driven through the streets. patch was drafted in 1917 and wounded while serving in the infantry. he later said with pride he had not killed anyone in combat. still ahead, the latest advice about the flu vaccine. weighing risks and benefits. a wildly popular website suddenly crashed today. how were hackers able to launch an attack on twitter? and a director whose movies mean so much to young people. john hughes died today. this is one way of getting vitamins and minerals. this is another. new total blueberry pomegranate cereal gives you 100% of the daily value of 12 essential vitamins and minerals.
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it's a real .medical condition... where involuntary ladder contractions..., cause frequent strong urges to go. i just coped too, ut then my doctor told me..., about treatment options including prescriptions. shouldn't you talk to yours? and give the coping a time out. on the m on the money tonight, an encouraging sign for the job market. first time jobless claims dropped by 38,000 last week. tomorrow, we'll get a better read on jobs when the monthly unemployment report for july is issued. the toll of the recession can be seen in a new report showing a record 34.4 million americans are now receiving food stamps. and retail sales remain sluggish. today chain sales reported july sales were down 5% from a year ago. next, we're doing to turn to medical news and the race to develop an effective vaccine for the h1n1 swine flu.
there's time pressure to roll out a vaccine, but with trials yet to get under way in this country, there are growing questions about safety. here is lisa stark. >> reporter: the government wants nearly 160 million americans to get the h1n1 swine flu vaccine. tests are already under way in a handful of countries to make sure the vaccine is safe and effective. >> we should have early results in september. >> reporter: today, the world health organization was bombarded with questions about the vaccine's safety. researchers say there's no reason to think it won't be safe, that the vaccine will be made in the same way by the same companies as the seasonal flu vaccines. >> we give these to tennis 10s millions of people. >> many remember the swine flu debacle of 1976. >> i had a flu shot last year.
>> reporter: president gerald ford ordered a massive vaccination program after a soldier tdied. the president and 40 million americans got the shot, but the vaccine killed more than the flu. >> we know a lot more about the vaccines. >> reporter: but the government admits there still could be rare complications that don't show up in clinical trials. >> there's only so much information we can know about safety before vaccines go into people. >> reporter: health officials say they're already setting up a system to monitor side effects for use if they begin a mass vaccination program. they promise to let the public know what turns up, good or bad. lisa stark, abc news, washington. coming up, a day without twitter. how did hackers cripple the social networking site and how
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when taking plavix alone or with some other medicines including aspirin, the risk of bleeding may increase so tell your doctor before planning surgery. and always talk to your doctor before taking aspirin or other medicines with plavix, especially if you've had a stroke. if you develop fever or, unexplained weakness or confusion, tell your doctor promptly as these may be signs of a rare but potentially life-threatening condition called ttp, which has been reported rarely, sometimes in less than two weeks after starting therapy. other rare but serious side effects may occur. millions of people who use the popular website twitter were stymied today, unable to send or receive messages because hackers attacked the site. today's outage shows, one, even a website as popular as twitter is vulnerable to online vandals. and two, it shows how hooked people are on the little messages known as tweets. here's bill weir. >> reporter: how do you confirm
that twitter is down when twitter is down? that was the modern dilemma for millions who use it to engage the world with mini messages, known as tweets. on the rare occasion of too many tweets, the site's message is a whale. but today's crash swallowed even the whale. and facebook was also slow in places, all the result of an apparent denial-of-service cyber attack. unknown hackers likely used malicious e-mail to gain remote control of thousands of computers and then directed them to wamp, the social network's servers. >> there may be some blackmail involved. it may be a prank or to just prove that this kind of attack can happen. or it may be a competitive action. >> reporter: with more than 40 million users, twitter is the world's fastest-growing form of communication, forcing politicians and celebrities tweet major announcements like
paula abdul's "american idol" departure. and iran is still reeling after election protestors used twitter to organize. all of this thanks to a three-year-old company run by a handful of young dot com upstarts from a small san francisco loft. >> what we're seeing with twitter is that people in general are good. and they want to do good things. >> reporter: but all it takes is one hacker to upset the good- natured routine of millions. and after the site recovered, i asked how everyone survived the "twitapocalypse." jake tapper said i went through twit withdrawal. ethan saw the sun for the first time. it burns. but most complained they got nothing done because every two minutes they had to check on twitter. bill weir, abc news, new york. and when it comes to tweeting, we have learned that john quincy adams was way ahead of his time. a high school students studying adams noticed he made short, twitter-like diary entries. 200 years ago today, thick fog, scanty wind on george's bank.
read massillon's kareem sermons. ladies are sick. that's 109 characters. the massachusetts historical society has put all of adams' postings on twitter, and he already has thousands of followers. when we come back, remembering the director who made a career of making coming-of-age movies. ecoboost™ engine in the all-new ford taurus sho that has the thirst of a v6 with the thrust of a v8. we speak car. we speak innovation. introducing the all-new taurus sho from ford. drive one. a day on the days that you have arthritis pain, you could end up taking times the number... of pills compared to aleve. choose aleve and you could start taking fewer pills.
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♪ shake it up baby now >> movies that defined a generation. >> is barry man lilow know you raid his wardrobe? >> what's happening, hot stuff? >> john hughes was 59. and the great screen wriete budd schulberg died yesterday, and one of our senior producers said he wrote the greatest movie line ever. >> you don't understand, i could have had class. i could have been a contender. i could have been somebody. instead of a bum. which is what i am. >> it turns out, since we checked, the american film institute has come up with a list of the 100 greatest lines of all time from english movies, and they only rate the schulberg brando line number three.
number five is -- >> here's looking at you, kid. >> number four. >> toto, i have a feeling we're not in kansas anymore. >> number two. >> i'm going to make you an offer. >> and number one. >> frankly, my dear, i don't give a damn. >> so we have been kicking this around all day long. we brought up -- >> bond, james bond. >> you can't handle the truth! >> yes, oh! >> i'll have what she's having. >> show me the money. >> show me the money! >> my mama always said life was like a box of chocolates. you never know what you're going to get. >> mrs. robinson, you're trying to seduce me. aren't you?
>> and we found that none of those we brought up had even made the top 20. it made for a lively day and a great debate at the news desk. we put the list of the top 100 lines from movies on our blog at abcnews.com. let us know if you think they missed a good one. in the meantime, that's "world news" for this thursday. i'm charles gibson. may the force be with you. for all of us at abc news, have a good night.